NFL Week 17 Picks: Surefire Locks to Bet Big and End the Season a Winner

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 28, 2011

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Tony Gonzalez #88 of the Atlanta Falcons catches a touchdown during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Can you believe the 2011-12 NFL season is almost over?

It’s sad but true that there is just a single week left with a full slate of action before the playoffs start.

For all the gambling men and women out there, it means this is the last chance to squeeze in a winning week and come out ahead on the year or at least recoup some of the losses.

Here are some locks against the spread you must take in order to guarantee yourself some momentum going into the tough postseason.


Atlanta Falcons (-12) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Saints humbled the Falcons last week, and now it’s Atlanta’s turn to knock someone out and kick them when they are down.

This is a huge matchup because Atlanta would have to face either New Orleans or San Francisco in the playoffs should they lose.

If they come out with a win, and the Lions stumble against the Packers, they get to take on the NFC East winner in a much easier contest.

Expect the Falcons to go for the throat and try to avoid a legitimate team in the first round.


Carolina Panthers (+9) at New Orleans Saints

Cam Newton should have been a Pro Bowl selection. Now he gets to show the world why when he faces possible-MVP Drew Brees’ team.

It’s not going to be easy, but Newton has been fantastic on offense this season and should not have a problem matching the NFL single-season passing yard leader blow-for-blow.

They played in an epic 30-27 game in favor of New Orleans last time, and it should be close once again.

While Carolina isn’t a lock to win, they will definitely cover.


New England Patriots (-11.5) vs. Buffalo Bills

The Patriots looked like garbage when they took the field against the Miami Dolphins last week. They woke up in the second half and came out with a surprise victory, but coach Bill Belichick could not have been happy with the performance.

This is a team that hasn’t won a playoff game since 2007 and must get their ducks in a row before they are staring down another early exit after a stellar regular season.

Don’t be surprised to see the Patriots dominate this from the opening kickoff as they tune up for the postseason.